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ESMO 2021: Dutch Study Focuses on NTRK Fusions as Potential Prognostic Biomarker

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2021

Irene Santi, PhD, of the Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed the prognostic value of NTRK fusions as a biomarker in patients with cancer from the Netherlands. Presented during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 (Abstract 105P), the researchers identified a trend toward shorter overall survival for patients with NTRK-positive tumors, although it was not statistically significant.

“Given the small sample size, insufficient data for other relevant covariates, and other limitations, residual confounding cannot be ruled out,” the study investigators cautioned.

This retrospective study identified 3,661 patients from the Hartwig Medical Foundation database with metastatic cancer and specifically focused on 30 who harbored NTRK fusions. Participants were categorized into NTRK fusion–positive and –negative groups, and then they were matched based on clinical characteristics and demographics (eg, gender, age, and previous lines of therapy).

NTRK fusions involving NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3 were reported in 8, 6, and 16 patients, respectively; gene fusions involving ALK and/or ROS1 had a 6.7% co-occurrence rate. The matching data set included 90 patients who had NTRK fusion–negative disease and 23 who had NTRK fusion-positive disease, and the demographics appeared to be similar. Notably, the hazard ratio for patients with NTRK-positive versus NTRK-negative cancer was 1.37 (95% confidence interval = 0.78–2.42).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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